Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is currently on his nationwide “I’m probably running for president” tour. He’s made the requisite stops in the early election states of Iowa and New Hampshire, courting the GOP faithful and bringing the figurative freezers full of red meat to throw their way. Demonstrating impressive political savvy, he’s also making a habit of making bold statements that set him apart from potential Establishment competitors from both sides of the aisle.
He may be making the right rounds, shaking the right hands, and firing at the right targets, but if he’s serious about being elected president, Senator Paul should join the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). At least that is the incredibly bad advice offered by Jacob Heilbrunn to the freshman senator and scion of the libertarian-leaning Paul family.
In an article published on May 19 in The National Interest — a foreign policy journal — senior editor Heilbrunn suggests not only that Paul “put as much distance between himself” and those who consider the CFR and its globalist policies to be a threat to liberty and U.S. sovereignty, but, “for good measure” he should add CFR president Richard N. Haass as a consigliore.
Here’s Heilbrunn’s pitch:
Nothing would signal that Paul intends to be a serious candidate for the presidency [more] than reaching out to mainstream Republicans such as Haass. Haass is the antithesis of a neoconservative, and it is neocons who, by and large, dominate the GOP, at least when it comes to setting the terms of debate. Whether they wield much influence outside it is a matter of debate. But as one of the avatars of shifting the debate on foreign policy, Paul would do well to broaden his message. Obviously, Paul is not going to abandon his libertarian credo. But it's hardly in conflict with tempering his message for a wider audience. His aim should be to present himself as a mainstream candidate espousing the revival of precepts that were successfully followed by GOP stalwarts such as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush.
Broaden his message by appealing to the mainstream? That sounds like the none-too-successful strategy of several former GOP presidential contenders.
Beyond shilling for the perpetuation of the same-old-same-old, country club, Establishment partisan politics that have accelerated the decline of this country and its Constitution, Heilbrunn laments that Paul will hew too rigidly to the principles of civil libertarianism that are the essence of his broadening appeal.
And, speaking of that hoary Establishment claque, aren’t they the same group that Senator Paul described as "stale and moss-covered" during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March?
Undaunted, after extolling Haass’ experience in both Bush (older and younger) administrations, Heilbrunn makes his final appeal to Paul to demonstrate his presidential pragmatism by adopting Haass’ worldview and promoting the CFR’s foreign policy proposals.
Just what is the Council on Foreign Relations? Are they indeed “a secretive organization, the agent of nefarious bankers intent on promoting world government” as Heilbrunn mockingly says “the right” believes them to be?
Or, alternatively, are they, as Heilbrunn claims, a “network of realist thinkers with government experience and serious intellectual attainments”?
In truth, for decades since its creation, the Council on Foreign Relations has been the “mother ship” of the internationalist Establishment and the source of marching orders for the successive State Departments.
Perhaps the best evidence of the influence of this organization was revealed during a speech delivered at CFR headquarters in New York City in 2009, by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In her remarks, Clinton offered an accurate and chilling assessment of the relationship between the CFR and American foreign policymakers: “We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won't have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”
How prevalent have members of the CFR been in the highest ranks of American politics?
The administrations of every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt have been filled with members of the CFR. From cabinet-level secretaries to the lowest-ranking sub-bureaucrat, presidents have turned to the CFR as the in-house personnel pool.
This path has been faithfully followed by every president — Republican or Democrat — including Barack Obama.
For a full and frightening account of the origin, purposes, and practices of the CFR, readers should turn to James Perloff’s seminal book on the subject, The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline. Originally published in 1988, the information provided by Perloff is timeless and timely.
What follows is a brief recitation of Perloff’s account of the inception and influence of the CFR. This synopsis, taken from Perloff's article "Council on Foreign Relations: Influencing American Government" in the August 3, 2009 issue of The New American magazine, should serve as a primer for readers unfamiliar with the group, as well as a warning to Senator Paul to ignore the advice of Jacob Heilbrunn and anyone else who would see him abandon his constitutional conservatism in favor of the staid, secretive, sovereignty-eroding globalism of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Power Behind the Throne
In theory, America’s government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.” While this concept rang true in early America, and many individuals still trust in it, the last century has seen the reality of power increasingly shift from the people to an establishment rooted in banking, Wall Street, and powerful multinational corporations. Syndicated columnist Edith Kermit Roosevelt, granddaughter of Teddy Roosevelt, explained:
The word “Establishment” is a general term for the power elite in international finance, business, the professions and government, largely from the northeast, who wield most of the power regardless of who is in the White House. Most people are unaware of the existence of this “legitimate Mafia.” Yet the power of the Establishment makes itself felt from the professor who seeks a foundation grant, to the candidate for a cabinet post or State Department job. It affects the nation’s policies in almost every area.
Roosevelt added that this group’s goal is “a One World Socialist state governed by ‘experts’ like themselves.” David Rockefeller, the longtime chairman (and now chairman emeritus) of the CFR, acknowledged the role of the establishment in trying to lead America in the one-world direction in his 2002 book Memoirs:
For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as “internationalists” and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
Two major means the establishment employs for controlling government policy: (1) through its influence within the two major parties and the mass media, it can usually assure that both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates will be its own hand-picked men; (2) by stacking presidential cabinets with CFR members at key positions — especially those involving defense, finance, foreign policy, and national security — it can assure that America will move in the direction it wants.
Since the council’s founding in 1921, 21 secretaries of defense or war, 19 secretaries of the treasury, 17 secretaries of state, and 15 CIA directors have hailed from the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prior to the CFR’s founding, what Congressman Charles Lindbergh, Sr. (the father of the famous aviator) called the “Money Trust” — a cabal of international bankers including the houses of Rockefeller, Morgan, and Rothschild — conspired to create the Federal Reserve System. Their agents, such as Paul Warburg and Benjamin Strong, who had secretly planned the Fed at a nine-day meeting on Jekyll Island, were then put in charge of the system itself. This gave them control of American interest rates, and, by virtue of this, control of the stock market, as well as the capacity to have the U.S. government spend without limit by having the Fed create money from nothing. The result has been decades of inflation and skyrocketing national debt. Not just an accumulation of wealth, but a consolidation of political power was involved.
The Money Trust had backed Woodrow Wilson in the presidential elections, and then controlled him through their front man, Edward Mandell House, who lived in the White House. The trust recognized how the power of government could be used to advance their own interests. Wilson, surrounded by the bankers, traveled to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, which was settling the aftermath of World War I.
His chief proposal there, of course, was the League of Nations — a first step toward world government. However, although the League was established by the Versailles Treaty, the United States did not join because the Senate refused to ratify the treaty. In response to this rejection, the bankers’ circle, still in Paris, held a series of meetings and proposed to establish a new organization in the United States, whose purpose would be to lead America into the League. This organization was incorporated in New York City two years later as the Council on Foreign Relations.
Architects of a New World Order
The CFR’s goal was formation of an incrementally stronger world government. Admiral Chester Ward, former Judge Advocate of the U.S. Navy, was a CFR member for 16 years before resigning in disgust. He stated: “The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence, and submergence into an all-powerful one-world government.” After World War II, the League’s successor, the United Nations, was born.
Contrary to what the public is commonly told, the UN was not founded by nations who had tired of war. The UN was conceived by a group of CFR members in the State Department calling themselves the Informal Agenda Group. They drafted the original proposal for the UN, and secured the approval of President Roosevelt, who then made establishing the UN his highest postwar priority. When the UN held its founding meeting in San Francisco in 1945, 47 of the American delegates were CFR members.
Though the UN was not initially set up as a world government, the intent was that it would develop into one over time. John Foster Dulles (CFR), an American delegate to the UN founding meeting who later became Secretary of State under Eisenhower, acknowledged as much in his book War or Peace: “The United Nations represents not a final stage in the development of world order, but only a primitive stage. Therefore its primary task is to create the conditions which will make possible a more highly developed organization.”
Again, Perloff's book The Shadows of Power relates so much more of the destructive effect of CFR influence.
Going forward, one thing is certain, as Perloff wrote in the aforementioned article:
As long as the CFR controls our government, we can anticipate more of the same: diminishing national sovereignty; free flow of immigration (which confuses national identity and weakens national loyalties); increasing jobs losses through multinational trade agreements; further internationalization of law (Law of the Sea Treaty, Kyoto Protocol, World Court, global taxation, etc.); increasing loss of freedoms in a “surveillance society”; progressive organization of the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a North American Union; and ultimately, broader merger into a world government where all power will be concentrated in the hands of the elite.
Photo of Sen. Rand Paul: AP Images
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He can be reached at